May 15, 2009                                                         Contact:Lucas Hamilton

Ruling a Second Time, Court Upholds Fine Against Troy Man for Victimizing Two Area Seniors (Helena) State Auditor Monica Lindeen today welcomed a Kalispell court ruling that again upheld the Montana State Auditor's office order fining a Troy man $80,000 for victimizing two elderly women in northwestern Montana.

      The Eleventh Judicial District Court in Kalispell had also previously upheld the Auditor's order fining former Banker's Life insurance agent Martin O. Bower. The order also bans Bower from becoming licensed to sell insurance for five years, and bans him from seeking any securities registration or licensure.
      "Justice has been upheld," said Lindeen. "It's a victory for Montana consumers and reputable agents in the industry."
      The case resulted from a complaint by a family concerned about their mother who is an Alzheimer's victim. Bower had been to the Alzheimer's victim's home near Ronan on several occasions in an attempt to convince her to liquidate her securities accounts to purchase an insurance product, a fixed-index annuity.
      The second victim lived in an assisted living facility in Kalispell. Bower attempted to obtain inappropriate control over her Glacier Bancorp stock certificates in order to sell her a fixed annuity.
      Bower twice appealed the Auditor's decision saying the evidence did not support the Auditor's order.
      The Securities Fraud Hotline at the State Auditor's Office is 1-800-332-6148